For all the unquestionable beauty of our ubiquitous natural surroundings, even the Front Range and Garden of the Gods can become hard to truly see. Like “THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BARN IN AMERICA” in Don Delillo’s novel White Noise, the local scenery can become little more than advertisements for long-held ideas about the local scenery:

“Once you’ve seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn.”

He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced by others.

We’re not here to capture an image, we’re here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies.”

There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides.

“Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We’ve agreed to be part of a collective perception. It literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism.”

Another silence ensued.

“They are taking pictures of taking pictures,” he said.

He did not speak for a while. We listened to the incessant clicking of shutter release buttons, the rustling crank of levers that advanced the film.

“What was the barn like before it was photographed?” he said.

We found ourselves wondering the same thing about our landscape as we wandered through Garden of the Gods on a warm, late afternoon last week as the sun was just about to drop behind Pikes Peak and we caught some lens flare while trying not to focus. Perhaps the incredible bulk of America’s Mountain wants to be a telepathic cyclops for Halloween, or a light science fiction afternoon.

 

4 Responses to Return to Space Mountain

  1. sean says:

    no words.

  2. atomic elroy says:

    Excellent video.

  3. marc says:

    Gorgeous. Thank you for making and sharing this. Sweet n spooky sentimental simulacra!!

  4. chris fiedler says:

    gorgeous work noel! simply stunning.

News

Courtesy of Kitty Eisele
September 28, 2016 | NPR · In 1936, Country Home magazine sent its “rural correspondent of the year” Susan Eisele on a trip to NYC. With a 6-week-old in tow, she soaked up the city and hit it off with hard-bitten newspapermen.
 

Courtesy of Joanne Levine
September 28, 2016 | NPR · Like many founding fathers of Israel, he was born in Eastern Europe. After the Soviet Union collapsed, he returned in 1992 searching for his old family home.
 

AP
September 28, 2016 | NPR · The bill is widely believed to be inspired by allegations against comedian Bill Cosby, after some of his accusers came forward long after the alleged sexual assaults took place.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Kitty Eisele
September 28, 2016 | NPR · In 1936, Country Home magazine sent its “rural correspondent of the year” Susan Eisele on a trip to NYC. With a 6-week-old in tow, she soaked up the city and hit it off with hard-bitten newspapermen.
 

AP
September 28, 2016 | NPR · Soap opera pioneer Agnes Nixon created All My Children and One Life to Live. She was known for exploring challenging and taboo social issues through daytime television.
 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
September 28, 2016 | NPR · George has had many close calls, but did you know he once outran the Nazis? Despite some dated themes (we’re looking at you, Man with the Yellow Hat) George is now a multimillion-dollar franchise.
 

Music

WXPN
September 28, 2016 | WXPN · Hear performances by Liz Longley, The Sheepdogs and Quiet Life, recorded live at the 55th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival in August 2016.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 28, 2016 | NPR · In a piece on his latest album, the Pulitzer-winning composer uses a code of musical notes to spell out the name of his wife, Natasha. Another composition is inspired by her remarkable resilience.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 28, 2016 | NPR · Hear the Austin, Texas-based Latin funk band’s seven-minute workout of “Fairies Wear Boots,” complete with horns, fuzz and a touch of dub.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab